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Latest news: 01-05-09

Arkansas suit against drug companies dismissed

Companies that make cold pills containing ingredients used to make methamphetamine cannot be forced to pay the costs of fighting the illegal drug in Arkansas counties, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis dismissed a lawsuit by 20 Arkansas counties against drug makers Johnson & Johnson, Perrigo Co., Pfizer Inc. and others over cold pills that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. The ingredients, used as a decongestant in legal medicines, provide a needed chemical component of meth.

Full story, Forbes

Statewide anti-meth campaign launches in Oklahoma

A statewide campaign is under way to fight methamphetamine abuse in Oklahoma.

On Jan. 13, most Oklahoma television channels will broadcast the documentary "Crystal Darkness Oklahoma," aimed at increasing methamphetamine awareness and prevention in communities. The 30-minute documentary is modeled after methamphetamine campaigns in California, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona.

Wes Lane, the co-chairman of the campaign and a former Oklahoma County district attorney, said the documentary features testimonies from methamphetamine addicts who have been sent to prison, as well as from family members who have lost loved ones because of abuse of the illegal drug.

Full story, Tulsa World

Oregon seeks to battle metal thefts

The price of metal has plummeted since the summer, but that hasn't stopped thieves from stealing pipes and stripping utility poles.

From one end of Oregon to the other, police continue to find can-you-top-this examples of brazen metal-and-wire thieves.

In Lane County, for example, thieves in November stole a 200- to 300-pound bronze statue from the University of Oregon. The next month, hundreds of rural residents lost phone service when someone stole almost 500 feet of Qwest phone line.

Full story, KGW Channel 8 News

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